Saturday, July 10, 2010

King James

It's sad. Cleveland is in such bad economic condition, has such a poor image, that a single professional basketball player was a major economic force,  & focus of the city's pride above all others. LeBron James gave Cleveland 7 years of basketball worth watching, loved being called "King James," & is a fabulously wealthy celebrity. The Cavaliers failed to win an NBA championship & James certainly had the right to move elsewhere at the end of his contract. The NBA isn't about teams anymore; it's about superstar players & their "brands." The game itself has changed to spotlight those players.  The NBA has lost the casual fan who used to wander in from hockey & baseball at playoff time, fans who  enjoy college basketball but find the professional game  lacking interest. Hockey & baseball fans appreciate something called "defense" as part of their games & don't mind low scoring contests.

Under the circumstances, James should have expressed his regrets to the City of Cleveland & his strong personal desire to win a championship ring while he was in his prime, richly endowed some local youth-oriented charities, & simply announced that he was headed to Miami. Instead, he turned the process into a shameless, manipulative self-promotion worthy of a used car dealer.  But it was in keeping with the way the NBA operates now. The NBA has not only wrecked its own game, it's ruining the college & high school games, too.


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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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